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Do not try to be trendy on social media

When we look at what’s viral on social media, we can think it’s always the same kind of content that ranks. Usually, this content is buzzing because it follows a trend, so you might think it’s a good idea to follow it as well! Warning: when you see a trend everywhere, it’s already too late!

Why is it risky to blindly follow a trend?

Every day, when you scroll on Tik Tok, Instagram, Snapchat, etc, you see videos or posts that are super cool. They make tons of views and likes AND look easy to recreate. So why not copy them as well to get some share of the buzz? Well, here’s the thing: you may spend hours recreating the dance or sketch with the same song or filter and when you post it….it only gets 20 views and is a total fail.

So what did you do wrong? You think you have a great video, you studied your audience and you did some social media listening.

The problem is: it’s been weeks that this trend has been used. Social media users are tired of seeing the same video everywhere, that brings nothing new to the table. So if users aren’t liking your post, neither is the algorithm!

It’s not a good strategy for your business

Before checking out if a trend has been overused already or not, just stop and ask yourself: is this a good trend to follow for my social media strategy? Think about your business, what you sell, what’s your brand image, and most of all, who you want to target. 

Because the worst thing that could happen when following a trend is that you could look completely ridiculous. Views are great, but don’t forget that before helping you get millions of views, social media are mostly there to get your business known and potentially make some sales. It could be too bad to ruin that just for a trend, right? 

Let’s take the example of a bank, where employees follow a dance challenge on TikTok just to generate some buzz. Sure, it would look young and would show this bank follows social media and what’s trendy. But nothing more! It wouldn’t be a proper fit to share the values of the bank, or share an original message about its services. Worse, it could also be perceived as “unprofessional” for a lot of clients, and deceive them. Remember that following a trend can bring you a good buzz or a bad buzz, that’s why all trends aren’t good to follow! 

Besides, every trend has a source. You have to go back to the source by analyzing the soundtrack, the aesthetics, the moves made in the video and also which influencers pick them up. This allows you to avoid missteps. For example, avoid picking up on a trend launched by an influencer that has a bad reputation, or picking up on a feminist trend when you just offer a rose on March 8 which is supposed to be about defending women’s rights.

It’s easier to win the lottery than to become viral

In theory, creating a viral video is super easy! But in real life it can be a lot harder. Imagine, everybody wants to go viral on social media… So the competition is crazy! You have higher chances to win at the lottery than to go viral by using a trending song in your reels or TikTok.

And ask yourself this question: why do you want to go viral? Probably to increase your reach. But what does this exposure bring you?

I’ll take my personal experience as an example: I founded my own non-profit organization and I edited dozens of viral videos on Facebook. In less than a year, we had 100K followers on Facebook and 45 million views on our videos. We could imagine that we received a lot of donations.

Spoiler alert: we didn’t. We got 1,000€/month max of donation, while a single video cost 1,200€ to shoot and produce. And we were releasing two videos a month. We were happy to get views. They gave us an ego boost. But our viral videos brought us nothing but the interest of journalists.

Just to say that going viral doesn’t equal sales or growing a business. Some people go viral with a bottle flip video, but it doesn’t make money! So we should stop thinking views = money. Views transform into money only if you have the right strategy that serves your business image. Going viral allows you to get more exposure regularly. But the audience you reach is so big, it’s not always qualified. You’ll have more success by creating content that’s adapted for your target audience.

When should you follow a social media trend?

Following social media trends will never be a proper marketing strategy, but it can be helpful! Here are some cases in which it could be interesting to follow a trend:

  • The trend is about your niche; 
  • You can add something to this trend by adding a little twist with your brand ; 
  • It’s a fun and educational trend ;
  • It’s a new trend ;
  • It’s a trend that can help you reach a new audience;
  • Your target audience is using this trend.

For example, Gucci used a trend successfully in 2022 with the Gucci Model Challenge. On Tik Tok, teens were pretending to be Gucci models recreating the iconic looks of the brand. And Gucci played self-mockery with this trend by using real models. It was a fun and French content that modernized the brand’s image amongst younger generations. 

To use social media trends, you should adapt them to show the personality of your business. And from time to time, a fun content that changes from what you’re used to do is always a good idea! 

What you need for a good social media strategy

To make the most of social media, it’s essential to craft a plan tailored for your business objectives and skills. Doing research on your target audience is key in posting content that increases your reach. Keep in mind that with various platforms come distinct audiences – so don’t limit yourself!

Create content according to the social media

Your content is the result of what your audience wants and what the social media you’re using wants. Always create content according to the social media you’re on!

For instance, if we take the two opposites, on Tik Tok people want fun content while on LinkedIn they want you to show your expertise. So your content (picture, video, article, etc.) and your speech won’t be the same. And don’t use social media that your audience itself isn’t using!

Same thing applies if you know that you won’t have the ability to make videos regularly… don’t use Tik Tok or Youtube. As we always say in the agency: don’t spread the jam too thin! It’s better to have a few social media pages with regular content, than too many accounts with no content.

Professional content = Professional image

Be careful! You need to ensure your content looks professional or you’re in for a disaster. Avoid blurry pictures, strange yellowish lighting and frames taken by your cousin (we don’t bear any ill-will towards him). It’s easy to check this out: even beginners can come up with high quality content even with smartphones and apps. If you choose low grade visuals – both audiences and algorithms will be unhappy.

And be careful! Your audience is like a child, they get tired of things really quickly so you need to keep creating content with an added value like storytelling posts or sharing values. And it’s when you’re searching for a new kind of content to post that you can use social media trends.

Don’t forget the description

Crafting a post description is often overlooked, but when done right it can make all the difference. Your picture or video grabs people’s attention and your description seals the deal! Keep in mind that we all like social media to be straight to the point, so don’t be overly cryptic – give your audience everything they need to know quickly and easily what is it you want to say. With an engaging post caption at hand, you’ll have no problem converting viewers into customers.

Get out of your comfort zone

Our favorite part to grow your social media is also the one which takes the most time: interact with users! In “social media” you have the word “social” , so you need to be an extrovert and go talk with your target audience. And it’s a daily task!

Content tailored to a specific audience is far more beneficial than content designed for virality

You got it, the key to success on social media is to create content for your target audience. Crafting content that can go viral may not always be an effortless task. That’s why it is essential to understand your target audience and the image you wish to create for your brand. Never forget to keep an eye on any changes with algorithms too!